Everyone needs a writing sample, and yet you don’t have one that is worthy or you don’t know where you should advertise your articles.
Or maybe you need a writing sample but you have no clue where to start?
Oh yes, we have all been there.
Each writer, and by each I am clearly referring to myself, has thought that writing is an art that needs to be showcased through a grand opening.
You know very much like a red carpet event.
I’m going to agree and disagree with myself.
Yes, of course, your writing needs to be on display for the world to enjoy, and of course, I like to think of my writing as a Monet.
But regardless of how I feel about my work, it needs to demonstrate what I am capable of, and what might help me get that client.
Must Have Research Skills for Freelancers
Speaking of writing samples there are several places where you can display the work that doesn’t involve you having your own website, though eventually, you should have an author/writer website.
Having your very own online portfolio is everything. And super easy to share when you are sending out pitches or needing to send out samples that you are incredibly proud of.
And what is easier than having a link, full of your best work, to share?
When I began pitching, I was nervous because I didn’t have a portfolio. I did however have a blog, and those articles were my portfolio.
Until I felt I had enough to share on a website, this website, I began providing the link to my portfolio.
I’m so glad too, because giving one link, as opposed to several links (3), is way easier.
Traditional Writing Samples
Traditionally you can do a lot of things to get yourself some “published” writing samples but not all of them will bring the right kind of traffic or even provide you with what you are looking for.
Your “traditional” writing samples need to attract potential clients or where your potential clients like to visit.
For example: If you like to write about marketing, traditional business matters etc. you would want to pitch to a site such as Divvy.HQ.
Writing a Guest Post
There are a number of blogs out there that need writers, all you have to do is pitch.
An added benefit is traffic guest posts on high-traffic blogs that will be for free, you will be exposed to established blog clients you’ll be given a chance to demonstrate what you can do
And how well you can follow directions.
DivvyHQ for example likes to have their blog post formatted a certain way, complying with that is a great skill you should practice.
Example of how DivvyHQ requires guest post articles:
Post Headline/Title: Should be <h1> catchy, includes primary keywords
Opening paragraph(s)-open up with a story, or identify a question or problem you’re trying to solve. Readers should understand the “who”, “what”, and “why” after reading the introduction.
Bolded sub-header (Main Point #1) should be <h2> Summarize your first main point, include key phrases, back up the main point with supporting points, either with bullets or a list.
Bolded sub-header (Main Point #2) should be <h2> summarize your second main point. Possible to include lists, easy to read step-by step.
Bolded sub-header (Main Point #3) should be <h2> summarized the third main point using supportive research
Closing Paragraph should be<h2> wrap up the post summarizing what you covered
Call to action: provide clear directions as to what the reader should do next.
Simple Ways to Elevate your Writing
Create your own blog
I know a lot of writers who would shake their heads at me or point a finger. Once upon a time, yes it is true many writers didn’t like the idea of blogging.
If fact there was once a time when blogging was considered a silly pastime, but hey times have changed.
Now you can discover blogs that not only provide you with interesting insight into topics, but advice and much more.
Blogging has become the “youtube” for struggling writing artists to get their work out there.
A blog can be used to get you in front of your ideal audience and show them what you can do.
Depending on what you are specializing in, your blog posts could discuss the process of how to launch, what to do if you are stuck, and much more. Think of it as a user’s guidebook.
I am not sure why, I guess it was beneath them? I get it, blogging a few years ago was a bit laughable.
Nontraditional Writing Samples
Another way to create content for your portfolio is to start posting on LinkedIn.
This platform is meant for professionals to network, and what better way to reach the clients on your dream list than to directly reach them through social media.
Personally, I’ve gotten several jobs through LinkedIn, and the best part is they came to me!
What could be better than that?
Medium.com is a great place not only for you to showcase yourself in a different way but it is also a great place to find inspiration.
Working/posting on Medium.com is free, but the best part is you are putting yourself in front of the audience.
So there is no excuse as to why you’re not online, and you don’t have a blog!
Easy to use, hardly any setup at all if you’re unable to put a theme on to WordPress this is ideal for you.
On this platform you can get great insights as to what the industry is looking for, you can also find a job listing for bloggers looking for guest writers.
Working and writing on Problogger is a great way to not only practice your pitches but to also show case your writing skills.
How to Successfully Pitch as a Freelance Writer
Regularly Contribute as a Guest Blogger
If you have an amazing relationship with a blogger pitch to them about being a regular contributor. Demonstrate your value and how you can help them out with their content
. Not only will you have regular writing samples available for you to use, but you’ll be helping your blogger friend with their workload.
I work with several bloggers on a regular basis, and each one has taught me some valuable lessons. Trick and tips I would have never thought about.
Here is an example: white space is your friend.
Sounds silly but readers love white space.
Create PDFs of your amazing Writing Samples
What better way to “publish” your work than with a PDF?
Easily attach what you have worked so hard on to your emails, allowing a potential client to see what you can do.
Why a PDF?
So they can not edit the document! And you can control the security and who gets to read it.
Plus it is easier for someone who doesn’t use your version of Word or has the same operating system as you.
Bottomline your need writing samples to “market” yourself to potential clients. The problem may be that you don’t have the funds for a blog or a website of your own.
Fear not, that is totally ok because you can create a writing portfolio in other creative ways.
Using these and other innovative ways to create your writing samples will not only teach you new skills about creating binge-worthy reading, but it will also provide you with the chance to work with different people on different topics.
So, now that you have a few ideas get to writing!